Jacksonville-based operator Crowley Maritime reported October 18 that it estimates to have offloaded more than 9,500 loads of commercial and government relief cargo at Puerto Ciro since the Hurricane Maria hit the island.
Crowley has added six U.S.-flagged flat-deck barges to its fleet (a 40 per cent increase in capacity), since the storm struck in late September, and has sailed regularly this week from the mainland to San Juan.
More than 900 commercial loads were put on vessels between Monday and Wednesday, including more than 100 refrigerated containers. Crowley will be offering 6,200 commercial cargo slots per month in November and December.
The flow of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) shipments remained strong and commercial cargo shipments have been increasing above normal levels, as retailers, manufacturers and other businesses have gathered momentum, said sources.
“Given all that the island needs, we view all cargo – government and commercial – as vital to our recovery. We are encouraged to see commercial customers slowly beginning to get back up and running,” vice president, Puerto Rico services, Jose Pache Ayala said.
Upon reaching Puerto Rico, relief cargo is being distributed by Crowley Logistics, which has more than 375 trucks on the island. The logistics group is also providing services such as drayage, direct deliveries, deconsolidation and inventory control, as well as providing forklift equipment and operators to expedite the handling of air freight at the airport.
With the transportation and logistics management of approximately 2,600 FEMA loads so far, Crowley has bookings to transport another 1,700 loads to Puerto Rico in the next several weeks.
The company is supporting FEMA with regional distribution capabilities in Ceiba, Aguadilla, and the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan. Water, ready-to-eat meals, baby and toddler supplies and recovery operations kits continue to move in high volumes in the island.
Sea News, October 20